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About Laser Spine Institute

What is Laser Spine Institute?

Laser Spine Institute is the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery, offering you the more effective alternative to open neck or back surgery. We are a state-of-the-art, outpatient surgery center that specializes in minimally invasive spine procedures. In much the same way that arthroscopic surgery is performed on the knees and shoulders, we perform surgery on the neck and back. The steps in this procedure allow the surgeon to correct spinal and nerve conditions without the complications caused by open back surgery. That means that large incisions and lengthy hospital stays are no longer required. Every day, patients come in to Laser Spine Institute for surgery and walk out that same day.

What conditions does Laser Spine Institute treat?

At Laser Spine Institute, a wide variety of techniques are available for the treatment of spine conditions that include:

What types of minimally invasive spine surgeries do you perform?

At Laser Spine Institute, we specialize in four types of minimally invasive surgeries:

  • Foraminotomy To relieve pressure on nerves compressed by the intervertebral foramen.
  • Laminotomy To relieve pressure on the spinal cord compressed by spinal stenosis.
  • Discectomy To remove the portion of a herniated or bulging disc that is pressing on a nerve root or the spinal cord. Surgeons utilize X-ray monitoring and fiber-optics devices in order to see precisely what is compressing the nerve and to remove it without causing any destabilization of the spine.
  • Facet Thermal Ablation To debride the facet joint and deaden the nerve utilizing a laser and irrigation inside a 3mm tube.

How is minimally invasive surgery performed?

The most unique aspect of Laser Spine Institute's surgical procedures is that they are minimally invasive. In the operating room, a small, less than 1-inch incision is made and a hollow tube is inserted into the incision. A series of tubes, increasing in size, are placed over the first tube, one at a time, to slowly create an opening to the spine that does not require tearing or cutting of the muscle. The last tube, or "working tube," is 18mm in diameter and once it is in place, the other tubes are removed. Now a camera, laser, suction, irrigation and other small surgical tools are inserted. Throughout the procedure, the anesthesiologist is sitting with the patient, monitoring his/her vital signs and administering medication and intravenous fluids as needed. A surgical technician stands by the surgeon to hand him the instruments he needs, and a circulating nurse is present to coordinate everyone on the operating room team, communicate with the patient, and keep the room temperature comfortable.

How long does surgery typically last?

The average spine procedure lasts about an hour. When the procedure is complete, the surgeon removes the tube to let the tissue and muscle go back to their natural position. The last tube is gently removed and absorbable sutures are used to close the incision. The patient is wheeled into the post-anesthesia care area where their vital signs are monitored, medications are given as needed and some light refreshments can be enjoyed. That same day, patients are encouraged to walk around. Soon after, they are discharged home or to their hotel.

What's the recovery process like?

After a day of rest and recovery, the patient returns for a postoperative appointment. An epidural injection may be given to reduce swelling and increase range of motion. Physical therapy may be prescribed. Physical therapy consists of a series of stretching exercises, walking, ice or heat, gentle electronic stimulation and a nice relaxing massage. Each patient is given instructions for postoperative activity and limitations. Over the weeks and months to come, gradual and continuous improvement will be seen, as the nerves and tissues heal. With time and exercise, the body can repair any damage, gain strength, and a gradual increase in daily activities can occur.

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